The unsustainable use of the common: the encroachment of ones commons space- Somalia water pollution and contamination is the act of Somali piracy justified


The reputation of the Somalis on the high seas is getting worse in the Western world. The small African impoverish state has been labelled as one of the worst and dangerous places in world by the western media and their leadership who often claim that the country is dominated by groups of renegade pirates who attack and rob innocent people without provocation. This has made the country unattractive to tourism and investment that could have help in the increase of their gross domestic product which could have reflected on the lives of the citizens through increase in their life expectancy and their wellbeing. In most cases in the west the slander of Somali pirates is seen as vindicated without considering the causal mechanisms.
The Somalis claim they have a cause to justify their actions and among the causes are: they are looking for compensation on the hundreds of tones of toxic waste that which is dumped at the Somalia coast by the Western companies leaving the already impoverish country with millions if not billions of dollars of an environmental muddle. The UN representative to Somalia Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah and the UN environmental programme representative Nick Nuttal confirmed these activities of the western industries in the Somali coast. In his words Nuttal said the country “has been used as dumping grounds for hazardous waste starting for early 1990s……. continue through the civil war…… European countries found it cheaper to dump waste at the Somali coastline as it cost as little as $2.50 a tonne compared to$1000 a tonne to dump it in Europe”
The Somalis have a reason to be angry due to the short term and the long term effect they envisaged to encounter. The Somalis accusers should reflect on the New York’s Love Canal disaster in the 60s and the 70 to understand the plight of the Somalis and the potential effect of the devastated human cost of toxic waste they have endured. The New York tragedy exposed the community to diverse bizarre diseases like increase cancer rate and birth defects which generations suffered in the locality. No wonder the Somalis are annoyed and have taken the law into their hands for several diseases have been identified in the territory due to the toxic dumping activities- skin disease to mouth and abdominal bleeding. I do not condone to piracy as an activity however, considering the plight of these impoverish people which was broadcasted by Al Jazeera in terms of their unimaginable experience that has become part of the Somali lifestyle, it is justified to claim that the dumping of the hazardous waste effect and the protracted civil war which the international community have kept blind eye on has pushed the Somalis to the boiling point and as such feels there is no one not even the UN to protect them from the oppressive clutches of the international companies from rich countries who have military power to suppress the Somalis in any way. The Somalis have no means to express their anger and resentment than to opt for the wild-west style extortion to deter the dumping activities and even sailing in their seas, and also to demand ransom to compensate the trauma and the distress they have endured as a result of the toxic dumping.
Instead of the citizens and the media of the West lambasting these illicit (Justified) activities, they should rather consider telling the ugly side of the Western companies’ activities that has contributed to the meagre 48years life expectancy and 43% of Somalis living under poverty the line. Pirating is a true indication of rage and desperation of the developing countries towards their long term endurance of oppression of the West. Considering the difficulties the Somalis have endured and the reluctance of these companies to desist from their dumping activities and the international community’s inability to stop the dumping. I believe the Somalis have taken the right approach in dealing with the situation.
The Western media has contributed in the depletion of the commons as they are controlled by the rich private institutions who give a threshold to news that needs to be broadcasted, in view of this, the Western companies illegal activities in the impoverish Somalia is hardly published, they only find a way to justify the European companies activities by lambasting and painting the Somalia pirating as provocative


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: